tv The Ed Show MSNBC December 20, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EST
in realtime. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the ed show" with ed schultz starts right now. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" tonight from new york. house republicans shot down a tax break for millions of americans. and they're trying to pin the blame on everyone else in washington. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> the clock is ticking. time is running out. >> john boehner's tea party tax hike is about to go forward. >> this is not poker. it's not a game for the average family who doesn't have an extra thousand bucks to lose. >> congressman jim mcder mont of washington and senator debbie stabenow of michigan on what happens next. and ezra klein is here to break down the politics. that's my problem with the president. he hasn't stepped up and led. >> righties keep saying the president hasn't led. they couldn't be more wrong. and tonight, i'll prove it. >> you can go right now to politifact's website, go to the
readers choice and vote on the lie of the year. >> the politifact lie of the year is out and it isn't a lie at all. tonight, the truth about the republican vote to end medicare. and racism rears its ugly head once again in the republican party. michael eric dyson on why the grand old party still can't stand the first black president. oh, we got a lot of correcting to do tonight, don't we? americans, great to have you with us. your taxes are going up in 11 days. how do you feel about that? here's what happened. house republicans killed a two-month extension of the middle class tax cut and unemployment benefits for this many people. 160 million americans will see less in their paycheck starting january 1st. happy new year. john boehner and the republicans are leaving washington, d.c., going home for the holidays. they don't have a deal. harry reid has no plan to bring the senate back for a conference
committee. i know that's a little minutia, but that's where we are right now. the president, he took the offensive today. he hammered house republicans for comparing the negotiations to a game of high-stakes poker that will effect the lives of 160 million americans. >> i saw today that one of the house republicans referred to what they're doing as, quote, high-stakes poker. he's right about the stakes, but this is not poker. this is not a game. it's not a game for the average family who doesn't have extra thousand bucks to lose. it's not a game for somebody who's out there looking for work right now and might lose his house if unemployment insurance doesn't come through. this is not a game for the millions of americans who will take a hit when the entire economy grows more slowly because these proposals aren't extended. >> now, i have to say this. a thousand bucks. what's a thousand bucks? you know, if you've been around
washington long enough, you can get four or five people, go out for cocktails, have lunch. a thousand bucks is out the window. i mean, that doesn't sound like a lot to people in washington, but it means everything to people in the heartland who are struggling with kitchen table bills. a thousand bucks is a lot of money to people. john boehner has completely lost control of the house to these radical tea partyers who all they want to do is defeat president obama. nancy pelosi laid the blame squarely on the tea party. >> maybe the principle at stake here is the anti-government ideological warfare that the tea party republicans in the extreme have taken us to. they, alone, are standing in the way of the tax cut for the middle class. >> yes, they are. john boehner didn't take any responsibility for his failure of leadership. instead, the speaker turned the tables on the president of the united states. >> now it's up to the president to show real leadership. he said that he won't leave town
for the holidays until this bill is done. the next step is clear. i think president obama needs to call on senate democrats to go back into session, move to go to conference and to sit down and resolve this bill as quickly as possible. we've done our work for the american people. now it's up to the president and democrats in the senate to do their job as well. >> remember that sound bite, folks. he says that it's up to the president to get the senate democrats to go back to work. okay. just hold that thought. but also remember that boehner's understudy eric cantor, he'd pin the blame on harry reid. >> so now it's up to harry reid, because the bill is back in the senate. and so if harry reid says that he's not going to appoint conferees, that he's not going to go in and do his job, then he'll have to answer to the american people. >> really? cantor and boehner are complete frauds on this subject. let me give you the number. 39 senate republicans.
wow. 3 senate republicans. remember that. boehner wants them to go back to work and, what, get more, get 100? harry reid showed leadership by making the senate pass the two-month extension. president obama, you know what he's faced? he has faced a record obstruction game plan by the republicans since day one. today the president reminded the american people what he's up against. >> nearly the entire senate, including almost all of the republicans, voted to prevent 160 million working americans from receiving a tax increase on january 1st. nearly the entire senate voted to make sure that nearly 2.5 million americans who are out there looking for a job don't lose their unemployment insurance in the first two months of next year. >> yeah. real stuff to folks that have to pay bills. now, let's put it in context here, folks. the republicans, you know what
they've done? they rejected a 1.9% increase on 345,000 millionaires in this country. 345,000 millionaires. the republicans said, no, we can't get 1.9% revenue out of them. but they have absolutely no problem taking money out of the pockets of 160 million middle class americans. they don't have any problem doing that. because they protected the country clubbers. what is john boehner doing? well, he's treating this like a damn game. >> our members do not want to just punt and do a two-month short-term fix where we have to come back and do this again. >> did he say punt? okay. let's play football, speaker boehner. what the hell? 89. that's the key number. this is how many senators have voted for the two-month extension. all democrats. 50. i guess you could say 39 turncoats.
decided to go with that socialist communist marcus pinkco in the white house and say, let's go another two months. 39 republicans. they want you to punt. that's what you want you to do, mr. boehner. they want you to punt. when you punt in football, you get the ball back. you're going to have your chance, mr. boehner, after the new year in the next 60 days to make your case to the american people that these 39 people are wrong on your side. and you've got a better plan. but instead, you are stuck in this tea party philosophy. they've got you in the huddle in this game. if you want to play a game. and this philosophy that these tea partyers have is, what, three yards in a cloud of dust, beat obama, this is what we're going to do, we ain't punting. we're not going to punt. we don't want the ball back. we want to drive it home and run over the american middle class. and we don't even care what 39 of our brethren in the republican party did in the senate. to the hell with them, they're
stupid, because we're tea partyers and stuck in our philosophy. in the meantime, who gets hurt? give me the 160 million number up one more time fellows. that's how many people you're effecting in this country. senators said, we don't want to do that. we have to punt and help these people out. but no, boehner says, to hell with the 160 million of these folks. they'll just have to suck it up. that's why the republicans are going to lose huge in november. they are out of touch with the american people. i saw an interview with cantor today here on msnbc. he talks about uncertainty. there's a lot of uncertainty. uncertainty. uncertainty in business? because you're going to help people out on unemployment? there's uncertainty with businessowners because you're going to extend this for two months so you can go back and fight for another day? do you really think in an economy that is slowly growing and going in the right direction that this is the best move to do this to the american people?
you have no favorable argument on this. none of the republicans do. and this is why you're out of touch with the american people. it's easy to go to lunch in washington and spend a thousand bucks, but a thousand bucks to these people means a hell of a lot. all right. democrats. it's the campaign season. let's just stop them when they try to go up the middle and kick their ass our way. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question. can you afford the republican tax hike? text "a" for yes, text "b" for no to 622639. you can go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. we'll bring you the results later on in the show. joining me now, senator debbie stabenow from michigan and also congressman jim mcdermott from the house side. great to have both of you with us tonight. both chambers tonight for
perspective. senator, is this fight over for 20 2011? are we going home for the holidays? >> we already voted. 89 members in the united states senate on a bipartisan basis to make sure people get a tax cut starting in january, that it continues. so it's up to the house. i mean, the only thing they gave us was a bill that was basically an attack on the middle class. they said in order to get a tax cut for the middle class, they wanted to lay off over 200,000 workers, attack people's pensions, their health care, have medicare costs go up for seniors. we said no. so the alternative that we gave them is one that will keep that tax cut. i just also want to say, ed, when you talk about $1,000 being important, you know, when i think about the mom or dad right now that's got the christmas toys on layaway and they've been paying that $20, $30, $40 every week to get the toys for christmas for their kids, you better believe that thousand dollars is a lot of money to families. >> congressman, obviously john
boehner is tap dancing to the tune that the tea party wants to play anyti time they want to pl it. is this over in your opinion for 2011? what do you think? >> well, i can't really tell, ed. what you're watching is john boehner be a puppet for the tea party people. he had the votes on the floor to pass it today, if he was willing to take a risk. he had 185 or 90 democrats who would have gone with him. all he would have needed was 25 sane members of the republican caucus. and he could have passed it. we could have been over it. we could have taken care of the unemployed, could have taken care of the middle class, could have taken care of the doctors and the seniors' health care. >> that is the big thing, too. the doctors and the seniors. this bill the republicans passed in the house is a joke. it's going to nail the seniors big-time and cut back the unemployment benefits to 59 weeks. they're horribly unreasonable and out of touch with the
economy. senator, when is the last time the senate got 89 votes on anything? it's pretty rare, isn't it? >> it's pretty rare. the last time we got close to it was a bill i authored last spring to eliminate another provision against small business on 1099 forms. we got 81 votes. i don't remember too many other times this year we've done that. the reality is that we've got to get through into the new year, protect that tax cut and then go back to work to convince the republicans in congress that multimillionaires really ought to pay their fair share. >> congressman, don't you think that -- let's say everybody goes home for the holidays, we got no deal. and, of course, the tax holiday is over with. and the 2% kicks in and then at the end of january, wouldn't this put the democrats in a good position when people really see their checks smaller in a very tough time of year? in the dead heat of the winter? what do you think? >> of course, it would do good for us bill politicalry. ed, it is a disaster for human
beings. >> it is. >> if you are expecting a tax cut or you're expecting 160 bucks more in your paycheck and it's not there, for people who are living land e ing hand to m really, really, really tough. the same is true for people looking for that unemployment check. if that check is not there, how do they pay their rent, how do they keep from being thrown out of their housesing and wind up living in their car? you see the stories on tv about people living in their cars. that's the result of people who've run out of unemployment, don't have the wherewithal to keep their house together. and they're simply not willing to think about the human beings involved here. all they talk about is, well, this is going to be tough on the job creators. i don't care about them. they get by. >> what the republicans have said today, it's okay to raise taxes on the workers, but it's not okay to raise taxes on what they claim are the job creators. that's where we are right now. senator deb stabenow and
congressman jim mcdermott, great to have you with us tonight. i appreciate your time. now let's turn to ezra klein, msnbc political analyst and columnist for the "washington post." let's say they don't do a deal, ezra. what's it do to the recovery? >> hurts it. the economists say it will take about a half percentage point off growth next year. if you say growth it going to be 2 to 3 percentage points, that brings it down to 1.5%. >> i never thought we'd see a republicans raise taxes. it's a religion to them. here they are. apparently they're going to do it. can they politically get away with it? what kind of favor would they be in with the american people? >> not much favor. it's important to remember the folks don't pay much attention to the ins and outs of the debates. listening to the coverage on most stations, seems complicated. boehner wants everybody to go to a conference. gets very complicated very quick. three or four months from now
people forget why it happened. republicans said they wanted a payroll tax. democrats wouldn't deal. democrats say republicans wouldn't deal. they know the economy got worse and they have less money on their paychecks. they take that out against incumbe incumbents, house republicans and incumbents in the white house. >> i've never seen so few in a caucus force a speaker to do so much obstruction. i think that's where we are. i mean, this is really a remarkable time in american history that you've got a few tea partyers in there who are really choking the chain of the speaker of the house. what do you think? is the president playing it the right way, ezra? >> i don't think the president has a ton of control over it at this point. i think he's playing it right to stay out of the fray. to stay above it. >> he got into it today. >> he got into it a little bit today. in general, he's made a very conscious decision. the white house has for months to not be part of congressional negotiations or bickering. they did that in the debt ceiling deal. it worked out poorly for them.
what's important for people to understand is congress is not in some basic sense arguing over the payroll tax. the republicans say we support it. democrats say we support it. republicans actually don't. republicans want some set of alternative policy concessions then they will release the payroll tax to the democrats. they want the keystone pipeline, discretionary spending cuts. that's what the republican argument is about. it's not about two sides supporting the same tax cut. >> they want to get something that they don't have. they're going to use this to do it. ezra klein, great to have you with us tonight. thank you. >> thank you. remember to answer tonight's question at the bottom of the screen and share your thoughts on twitter @edshow. coming up, the knives are out in the state of iowa after another shakeup in the polls. eric burns joins me to talk about that. the republican desperation move. and later, a look at some of president obama's biggest accomplishments even though the governor across the river here says he's not a leader. i've got facts that maybe governor christie doesn't have. , there's a battery that's relied on to help bring children holiday joy. of course, children don't really think
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republican establishment very nervous. eric burns on the gop's attempts to discredit the congressman from texas. that's onlyi icoming up next. pat robertson thinks this "saturday night live" sketch is a display of anti-christian bigotry. his own religious bigotry lands him in the zone. a tweet from the president of college republicans of university of texas is the latest in a pattern of race-related attacks on the president from the right wing. michael eric dooyson joins me later in the hour. you can tweet us your thoughts using #edshow. [ male announcer ] what can you do with plain white rice? when you pour chunky beef with country vegetables soup over it... you can do dinner. four minutes, around four bucks. campbell's chunky. it's amazing what soup can do.
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and establishments republicans aren't real happy with this one. a new poll shows ron paul on top with 23%. mitt romney is three points behind him at 20%. newt gingrich has dropped to the third after losing 13 points in two weeks. the newtster on the slide. republicans are getting nervous and they're pulling out all stops to prevent a ron paul victory. chris wallace kicked things off last week on fox saying if ron paul won it would discredit the caucuses? iowa republicans are echoing those remarks and the knives are coming out. the co-chair of michele bachmann's iowa campaign said this about a ron paul victory. "to see the process hijacked would be a concern for those who consider the honor we have of being first in the nation." well, the republican establishment sees ron paul, i guess you could say, as some kid in the back of the classroom with a smaller desk making a lot
of noise and they have to deal with him so they can move on. they don't like ron paul. they don't want him. they're afraid he'll run as a third party candidate if he gets enough support around the country. they're trying to shut him up, discredit him any way they can. republicans don't like democracy unless their guy wins. they're try to shut democrats up with voter suppression laws in states across this country. the thing about democracy is sometimes your candidate loses. i didn't hear republicans complaining about anybody hijacking the 2000 election. back down in florida. remember those days? ron paul is the only candidate on the republican side who has been consistently rising in the polls since day one. he hasn't had the big dip, the big gaffe. his values have been in line with the tea party since, well, since before there was a tea party. establishment republicans riled up the tea party last year to win back the house and it worked. now they have to deal with the beast they created. which may be a ron paul victory in iowa.
for more, i'm joined by eric bur burns, democratic strategist and founder of bull fight strategies. >> thanks for having me back, ed. >> what's the big deal? why are they trashing ron paul? do they not want him part of the flock? what's going on here? what do you make of it? >> they see him as an interloper from the far right. in past years he was considered the linden larush of the right wing with a much more serious following. what changed this year, unlike past years when ron paul has run, he has an organized ground game in iowa and other states which he's never really done before. i think with all the topsy-turvy nation of this primary, people didn't realize this guy could have a ground swell and an organization on the ground to win. >> one of his big qualities what i'm hearing from my sources in iowa is he's so nonthreatening. when you meet ron paul, he's good at retail politics.
he's just one of the nicest guys in the room. you can't hold a grudge against the guy. although iowa governor terry branstad had this to say about the iowa caucuses. "people are going to look at who comes in second and who comes in third." i mean, is this strategy of pretending ron paul doesn't exist, is this going to work for the republicans? >> i don't know that it will. i feel like ron paul might be unique in this situation. historically the only person that's ever won the iowa caucus and then gone on to win the presidency is george w. bush. but with ron paul, if he were to actually pull this off and win this caucus, it would force the media to take him seriously and it would put a damper on the plans of folks like rick perry and michele bachmann especially whose campaign will essentially be over. she's put everything she has into iowa. considering he's running in the top three going into new hampshire and south carolina, you know, it creates a real wrench in the works. >> ron paul still trails newt and mitt romney nationally, but he's the only other really
candidate that's in double digits. "washington post"/abc news poll, newt at 30%, romney at 30%. ron paul at 15%. does he have a chance beyond iowa? what do you think? >> i think it's tough, you know. i think, look, this is a different republican party than we've dealt with five years ago. all the establishment folks i talk to say romney, romney, romney. that's what you were talking about earlier, ed. trying to put the fix in. i've been saying for a long time that they may -- this republican party may be surprised at what the grassroots do. >> you know, the people that are being attracted to ron paul are, i think, obviously greater in numbers than the last time that he's run for president. but there's this 20-something and 30-something movement that is out there in this country that they're socially liberal, they're fiscally responsible. and they think that they can take care of themselves down the road and don't need any, any, any help at all or any kind of program at all or, you know what i mean? he's tapping into something new.
isn't he? >> well, no, he absolutely is. a lot of his, you know, a lot of his critics will say, his vote really depends on the youth vote. if you look at what he did, you know, in the straw poll in iowa in august, you know, he did very, very well there. i think coming in second to bachmann if i'm not mistaken. he did that without any college students and schools. i think these college kids have proven, these young people have proven they will turn out for ron paul. he's got a very, very serious foll following. i think that could really prove a factor in this. >> they defeated hillary clinton in iowa. the young kids got out for barack obama. there's a parallel between the two candidates as far as demographics are concerned. ron paul, is his ego big enough? you don't see the ego when he's working with people. is his ego big enough to fuel a third party candidacy? >> i think it might be. the reason why, ed, he's never put together a serious field operation before. clearly he made a decision with his campaign he was going to do that. it's been working for him.
i think if he can really come out, you know, and win this thing, and then show in new hampshire then i think you could possibly have a serious campaign. >> how long is it going to take for the republicans to start trashing his son in the senate, rand paul? you know, not only is ron wrong, but rand we have to take care of him, too, even though he's in the senate. i mean, they are out to get this guy off the map and out of the way and move somebody in from the establishment. eric burns, great to have you with us tonight. good to have you back with us. next in "psycho talk" pat robertson is up in arms about a "saturday night live" sketch. he thinks there's a vast anti-christian bigotry thing going on. well, robertson's going in the "zone" for that. paul ryan's plan for medicare would end it. so why is politifact calling it a lie? i'll explain. [ male announcer ] the more you lose, the more you lose,
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and in "psycho talk" tonight, pat robertson, he's all riled up about a "saturday night live" sketch. the clip pokes fun at broncos quarterback tim tebow by bringing jesus into the team's locker room. >> yes, i, jesus christ, am indeed the reason you've won your past six football games. >> i knew it. >> whoa, tim, easy. easy. hey, buddy. leave a little room for the holy ghost, okay? >> pat robertson was not amoo a. he sawed sketch as evidence of a greater problem. >> there's an anti-christian
bigotry that is just disgusting, and i think, you know, i think "saturday night live" did a parody of that and had jesus come in and say he's getting, you know -- if this had been a muslim country and they had done that and had muhammed doing that stuff, you would have found bombs being blown off and bodies on the street. but we think it's okay. >> well, we do think it's okay because we have this thing called the first amendment which gives us freedom of speech and religion. there's no widespread anti-christian bigotry in this country except for the one manufactured by fox news. but there is a significant anti-muslim bigotry. and one of the biggest offenders is, you got it, pat robertson. >> islam is a violent religion. it's not a religion of peace. you're in a country where mohammed is not too -- go and get your name changed. get it like mo or something.
islam is not a religion. it is a political system bent on world domination. and i think we should treat it as such and treat its adherence as we would members of the communist party or members o some fascist group. >> for pat robertson to complain about christianity being under attack in this country is ungodly "psycho talk." republicans love to say president obama is not a leader, but his actual records of leadership puts them to shame. and the right wing says racism in america is dead? so why is a young republican leader tweeting a racist joke about the president of the united states? michael eric dyson will join me.
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need to do. the difficult things you need to do to lead. that's my problem with the president. i mean, of course, i have philosophical differences with him, but in the end he hasn't stepped up and led. >> good old generic pablum from our friend from new jersey governor chris christie. heckling from the stands again today. he's the latest republican to say that president obama is a bad leader. >> i've had the experience of leadership. this president hasn't. >> being the president of the united states, you got to lead. and this president has not led on this issue. >> the president as far as i'm concerned has been a-wol in providing leadership on something as important as this. >> ah, let's just let them say it, right? no. not on this show. this is one of the most dishonest and fraudulent lines of attack since the republicans have had in the long time. and they're consistent with it. i want you to take a look at just a few things president obama has accomplished through his leadership. you know what he's done? he has presided over 21 months of private sector job growth. now, it's interesting, governor christie, i did a little checking today. you have been governor in new
jersey for the last 22 months. you've only had 12 months of private sector job growth. you've got some catching up to do with the guy who you say is not a leader. and of course, the president saved the automobile industry in this country from collapse which would have had a trickle-down effect. a domino effect that would have killed hundreds of thousands of jobs had he have not done it. republicans didn't help him out. he did it anyway. it takes guts to lead to do something. by the way, mr. christie, why don't you call bob king who is the head of the united autoworkers and let him school you up on exactly how many middle class families are still working because of president obama? he also signed health care reform. you know what that is? well, that's kids under 26 years old can still be there with their parents on their insurance policy. why would you want to deny that from young kids? also, you can't get dropped by your insurance company. and, of course, when you get sick, they can't dump you and you can't be denied. takes leadership to do all that. that's not enough. we'll have the president of the united states remind us of his leadership on foreign policy.
>> tonight, i can report to the american people and to the world that the united states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden, the leader of al qaeda. today we can definitively say the gadhafi regime has come to an end. i'm proud to finally say these two words, and i know your families agree, welcome home. welcome home. >> oh, it must have been just an easy lift to end the war in iraq, huh? last week the republican candidates stood on stage in iowa and they talked about really tough stuff, about illegal immigration. guess who took a real role in leadership when it came to immigration? it was a guy named barack obama. customs and border patrol agents have been added to the tune of 886 this year. arrests along the borders were down 53% because of a more secure border. the president's accomplishments happened in spite of a congress
with the worst filibuster record in history. and, of course, with the republican leader in the senate saying his number one goal was to defeat barack obama and make him a one-term president. but right wingers still say he's not a leader. if you doubt president obama's leadership, he has an answer for you right here. >> ask osama bin laden and the 22 out of 30 top al qaeda leaders who've been taken off the field, whether i engage in appeasement. or whoever's left out there. >> let's bring in msnbc analyst jonathan alter. you've written a book on the president. you've seen him in action. his legislative accomplishments are better than any other democratic president since lyndon johnson. is that correct. >> that is correct. if you look at the actual bills that have gone through congress which is one way of measuring leadership. mostly in the first couple of years. but the key thing is what you
put your finger on a few minutes ago. guts. leadership, according to chris christie, mitt romney, any of themes is doing something that's unpopular but in the interest of the country. nobody in the military wanted him to get involved with libya. they didn't want him to deescalate from afghanistan. the pentagon did not want him to go after osama bin laden. they wanted to bomb that compound, which may have had disastrous results. he took, made risky choices. and they paid off for him. health care. he rolled the dice on his whole presidency, put all his chips on getting that through at the beginning of 2010. and it worked for him. that is the definition of leadership. it's not about whether you agree with him or not. george w. bush was a leader, ed. people who say, might not like george w. bush, it's not about whether you like what he did or not, he was a leader for his views of what this country -- >> are republicans afraid -- are
they afraid of his actual accomplishments so the only thing they can do is generically speak about what a failure he is? >> they're trying to have it both ways. they say he's a socialist and danger to the country because he's trying to turn us into europe and he's a disastrous president because he's taking us off course. and then they're saying he's not doing anything. he's not a leader. which is it? can't be both. >> new poll shows from cnn shows americans have more confidence in president obama's leadership than they do in the congressional republicans. at 50% to 31%. earlier this year was much closer. doesn't this mean americans are seeing president obama as a good leader despite what the republicans are saying? >> look, he has a big hill to climb. he is really going to have a challenge to get re-elected. >> because of the economy. >> because of the economy. but that -- that is a -- to say that he hasn't solved all our economic problems is not to say he's not a leader. the problem that i have with
this formulation, it's become what they call a meme. m-e-m-e. an internet word. on the republican side. they're repeating it so often they hope it sinks in. the problem is, as you indicated, totally at odds with the record. this is not about whether you afree with him or not. it's about whether he has made tough decisions over the last three years. he has. >> here's another attack from chris christie this northemorni. here it is. >> your definition recently of compromise is everybody agree with what the president wants so we can compromise. and that's not what compromise is. >> compromise is 39 republicans in the senate voting just as they did with 50 republicans. the number's 89. to go ahead and give a two-month extension. isn't that leadership? >> yeah. by the way, chris christie might have taken note that right after the 2010 midterms, john boehner went on "60 minutes" and said we don't believe in compromise, we
don't like that word. he was reflecting the views of his radical republican extremist caucus who have time after time after time rejected compromise even when the country was risking default last summer. they wouldn't compromise. the presidential candidates, they were asked, could you take 10-1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases? that's a fabulous compromise for the republicans. they all raised their hands and said, no. >> just for the numbers, the president has been able to put together 21 months of private sector job growth. the guy heckling from the stands, governor christie, has been the governor since january of 2010. 22 months. 12 months of private sector job growth. he has some catching up to do and his state also took stimulus money from the feds to create jobs. jonathan alter, good to have you with us tonight. >> thanks, ed. politifact names its lie of the year. i've got a problem here, folks. it's not actually a lie. stay tuned.
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politifact announces its lie of the year. the only problem is the so-called lie is actually true. the fact checking website named the claim that republicans voted to end medicare. as 2011's biggest whopper. odd, considering that's exactly what the republicans did. here are the facts, my friends. medicare is a single payer system. it guarantees benefits to seniors. guarantees. house republicans voted for a plan introduced by congressman paul ryan of wisconsin that would get rid of the current system and replace it with a voucher system. the ryan plan would cost more and no longer guarantee benefits. that's a change. in other words, it would be nothing like medicare.
the trouble is, it would still be called medicare. which is apparently enough reason for politifact to call it, they claim it a lie. politifact tdoes admit the ryan plan is a huge change to the current program. as think progress points out, it's more than that. capping cost to beneficiaries. closing the traditional fee for service program. and forcing seniors to enroll in new private coverage. ends medicare by eliminating everything that has defined the program for the last 46 years. politifact's own readers, their own readers, picked the gop's bogus claim as the economic stimulus failed to create a single job as the lie of the year. so why did politifact's editors choose differently? as paul krugman writes, interesting here, "the people at politifact are terrified of being considered partisan. so they have bent over backwards to appear balanced. and in the process made themselves useless and
irrelevant. way to go, guys." the president of the university of texas college republicans tweets racist comments about president obama. michael eric dyson will weigh in on race in today's republican party. and they say there's no problem. we're right back. [ male announcer ] new vis nature fusion cold & flu syrup.
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is there occasional racism, of course, but this country's been transformed on the issue of race. you talk to young people, they don't understand how people could have judged people by race. they just don't even, it doesn't even parse. >> he's got a pulse, doesn't he? that's conservative talker bill bennett proclaiming last year that racism in america is essentially dead. it's been a familiar right wing talking point ever since the nation elected its first african-american president. yet, here's the latest example of why it just isn't true. >> another president of the ut college republicans is in hot water after sending out this tweet sunday. it reads, "my president is black. he snorts a lot of crack. holla. cassandra weigright was elected president of ut college republicans and replaced lauren
pierce who stepped down in november who sent out a tweet saying, "as tempting as it may be, don't shoot obama." a statement that she later apologized. >> is that the ann coulter farm team at work? time and time again conservative thought leaders, republican candidates and elected officials have been caught using racist rhetoric. here's a picture sent out by an orange county republican official. the caption, "now you know why no birth certificate." this picture of watermelons on the white house lawn was sent around by a republican mayor in california. down in south carolina, republican politico was forced to apologize to posting racist jokes. new york's republican gubernatorial nominee sent a series of racist and pornographic e-mails as a joke. a republican lawmaker in new jersey quit after his wife sent a racist e-mail to her husband's
opponent. then an obama imposter was invited to perform. here are a few of his jokes. >> my favorite month is february, black history month. michelle celebrates the full month, and, you know, i celebrate half. my father is a black man from kenya, and my mother was a white woman from kansas. so, yes, my mother loved a black man and, no, she was not a kardashian. >> the organizer of the event went on to say the group has zero tolerance for racially insensitive jokes. joining me now, michael eric dyson, msnbc political analyst, georgetown university professor and author of the book "can you hear me now?" professor, does this speak to where the republican party is right now? >> i think so, ed. they can try to deny it, but these things keep cropping up. it's not simply the serial character of it. one thing after another. we didn't even add in that a ron paul supporter is talking about
assassinating the president. this is a vicious denial of the land of opportunity that ostensibly we're supposed do be. we're supposed to be the land of the free, home of the brave by everybody by dent of his or her courage and the talent is willing to rise up. the president has done so. now that he's done so there's a backlash of his humanity and it's vicious. >> the gop continues to say racism in this country is dead. their talkers are out there saying it. we played an example of it. when do these examples, when do they stop? when does somebody call them out on it and when does somebody in their own party do it? >> that's the important point you're raising. you and i sitting here is predictable in discussing this. when are people within the republican party who say, look, we're not about that, we're beyond that, why don't they come out? you know, ed, when some black leader or other makes a comment that is unsavory or unpolitic, i'm called upon to denounce him or renounce that statement.
bull i don't see many white americans within the fwgop saying this is wrong, rude. the ability to criticize from within and suggest these kinds of comments will not be tolerated and the sentiments they put forth are not representative of the entire republican party. >> of course, we had the controversy with rick perry's family ranch. and now ron paul is distancing himself from a series of racist newsletters that apparently appeared under his name in the '80s and '90s. the people are running for the office of the presidency of the united states. do they need to come out and speak to these constant things that come up? do you think they have an obligation to set the record straig straight? of all the debates, they haven't talked about race. >> they haven't answered it at all. they do have an obligation, ed. what happened to president obama, then-senator obama when he was running for the
presidency and had to make a powerful, insightful, intelligent comment and speech on race? why doesn't the republican party address this issue? put forth its platform. talk about its ideas. talk about its understanding of the evolution of racial consciousness and racial progress and speak about the per ses tense of malignant racism that has to be removed from the body of politics. when they do that, they'll catch up with the rest of us who understands this is a central problem defining america. >> i think you're talking about when obviously president obama came out and made his speech on race in this country after the jeremiah wright situation was pushed big-time by one particular over at fox news. the fact is is that the republicans have never really done a speech like this. they have never come out and taken the lead or even suggested what we have to do in this country to make race relations better. i think it is dually noted by minorities in this country. >> absolutely, ed. >> michael eric dyson, great to have you with us. >> thank you, sir. >> that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. listen to my